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Despite uncertainty about coding and coverage changes that were anticipated at the time data was being collected for HomeCare's Mobility Survey, respondents told us they expect power wheelchairs to be their fastest-growing mobility product this year, followed by scooters, custom rehab equipment and standard manual wheelchairs.

In fact, since CMS' Operation Wheeler Dealer took effect, 52 percent of the home medical equipment providers participating in the survey said they have experienced no change in their company's level of power chair claim denials. Another 11 percent indicated that denials had increased at first but then returned to normal levels, while 19 percent said their denials for these products have increased.

On average, 11 percent of survey respondents' power wheelchair claims are denied; 41 percent indicated denials between 1 and 9 percent. The HME companies polled gave questions about medical necessity (27 percent) and insufficient documentation (18 percent) as the two most common reasons for power chair denials.

Fielded in December, the survey drew responses from 198 HMEs across the country. With mean annual revenue of $3.8 million, respondents told us their mobility business represents, on average, 32 percent of income; two in 10 said it makes up 50 percent or more. More than a quarter (28 percent) said they have 250 or more mobility customers.

The five most popular mobility products carried are: standard manual wheelchairs (85 percent); walkers/mobility aids (82 percent); standard power wheelchairs (70 percent); heavy-duty/bariatric manual wheelchairs (67 percent); and scooters (67 percent). Thirty-four percent of responding companies reported standard manual chairs as the single item accounting for the largest portion of their mobility sales, followed by custom rehab equipment (seating and positioning, etc.) (18 percent) and standard power wheelchairs (16 percent).

Check the information on this and the following page to find out more about providers' expectations for the 2005 mobility market. For a complete copy of the survey results, visit www.homecaremag.com.

SURVEY FAST STATS

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Almost 6 in 7 survey respondents (84 percent) are involved with the mobility market.

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On average, respondents have 117 mobility customers, while more than one quarter (28 percent) have 250 or more mobility customers.

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Mobility business represents, on average, 32 percent of respondents' annual revenue; two in 10 indicated it makes up 50 percent or more.

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Standard manual wheelchairs (34 percent) account for the largest portion of respondents' mobility sales.

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Respondents expect their single fastest-growing mobility product in 2005 will be power wheelchairs (20 percent), followed by scooters/POVs (15 percent); custom rehab equipment (seating and positioning, etc.) (14 percent); and standard manual wheelchairs (14 percent).

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More than half (52 percent) of respondents said their company focuses primarily on the geriatric market for mobility sales, while another 30 percent focuses on the disabled market.

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More than half (51 percent) of respondents advertise wheelchairs/scooters, while 44 percent do not.

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63 percent of respondents have space dedicated to wheelchair/scooter display.

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Since Operation Wheeler Dealer, 19 percent of respondents said their power wheelchair denials have increased; 11 percent said denials increased at first but then returned to normal levels; 52 percent experienced no change in the level of denials for power chair claims. On average, 11 percent of respondents' power wheelchair claims are denied; 41 percent of respondents denials between 1 and 9 percent.

Respondents said the two most common reasons for power wheelchair claim denials are questions about medical necessity (27 percent) and insufficient documentation (18 percent).

76 percent of respondents feel that a properly filled out Certificate of Medical Necessity (CMN) should be enough for Medicare reimbursement of wheelchairs/POVs.

Which of the following mobility products do you carry?

Which ONE of the following accounts for the largest portion of your company's mobility sales?

Which ONE of the following do you expect to be the fastest-growing mobility segment for your company in 2005?

As a provider, what are your most important considerations when purchasing mobility equipment?

COPYRIGHT 2005 PRIMEDIA Business Magazines & Media Inc. All rights reserved.
COPYRIGHT 2005 Gale Group


 
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